The idea for The SHE Mark was sparked on International Women’s Day in 2017. That day, our co-founder, Sterling, wanted to celebrate by exclusively buying from woman-owned brands for a happy hour. What seemed like an easy enough task resulted in a day-long scavenger hunt. She did individual brand research while walking the aisles of the grocery store and asked employees at her local wine shop what knowledge they had, eventually resorting to comparing their inventory to a “Top 10 Woman-Owned Wine” article.
While on her quest, it became clear that women’s engagement with a business can be impactful across all different roles. So, if women were at the helm and/or creatively involved, they made the cut (thank you, LinkedIn)! If the company was co-owned with a man, they were included!
What became the most important qualification overall was that women were equitably represented.
If only there was an easier and more trustworthy way to know that information, she thought...
After that experience, Sterling did some digging on the state of women in business and the economy. What she found was that:
women (in the US) own a roughly equal number of businesses, but they only see a fraction of the revenues;
there’s a growing trend towards supporting values-aligned brands; and
women make the vast majority of day to day purchasing decisions across all demographics, ages, locations, economic status, etc.
It seemed there was a lot of opportunity to be had and change to be made...
With an identified need and a new set of knowledge, Sterling began ideating on The SHE Mark and it’s potential impact. She shared the concept with a select group and peaked the interest of a friend of hers, Ilana. After several engaging conversations on the topic, Sterling asked Ilana to join her in founding The SHE Mark.
Since then, Ilana and Sterling have used their complimentary skillsets to bring the vision to life. What continues to fuel them is their joint passion for creating a better world, where gender equality in business, the economy, and society is both celebrated and incentivized!
[Above is a collage of images: original hand-drawn SHE mark designs by Sterling (left), First deck made about SHE (top middle), photo of Sterling holding her phone up showing the first ever instagram post on the day SHE Mark launched (bottom middle), Ilana and Sterling back to back with a cloud background (right).]